School Fundraisers: Putting Together a Change War

Posted on: 25 August 2016


School fundraisers can be stressful for everyone. This includes teachers, kids, and parents. More often than not, fundraisers take a lot of time, return very little revenue, and aren't a whole lot of fun. Luckily, there are some fundraisers out there that are the exact opposite of that, such as the change-war fundraiser. It will help bring in money for the school while requiring little extra time on most everyone's part, and it will be fun, especially for the kids!

What Exactly Is a Change War?

With a change-war fundraiser, students will be divided into classes or grades. This really depends on the size of your school or how you want to do things. Then, you will set aside a time frame for them to bring in change donations. They will have a goal to meet, but they ultimately want to bring as much money as they can because they will have a prize to look forward to in the end. (You'll need to choose whether to announce what this is or keep it a surprise.) For the final leg of the fundraiser, you will change things up and make things really fun for the students; this is what makes it a "war." Rather than bringing change and putting it in their own class or grade jar, they will put it in other jars. At the end of the fundraiser, the money in the jars will be subtracted from their total amount.

How to Make a Change War Work for Your School

After brainstorming with other staff members and fundraising volunteers and determining that this type of fundraiser will work for your school, you can implement a plan to get the ball rolling. To help you get started, here are just a couple of the details that you'll need to fine-tune.

A Time Frame – Before you can start the change war, you will need to decide how long this fundraiser will last. It can last a week, a month, or a season—it's completely up to you. So, you could start it shortly after school starts and end it at Halloween, or you can only run it the first week of October. You can run it through basketball season, or you can run it for the month of September.

Determine a Goal and Reward – You are ultimately encouraging friendly competition, so you will need to set a goal for each class or grade. (The goal can be different and increase as the grade levels get higher, or the goals can remain the same for each grade.) This goal is going to encourage the competition among the students and will essentially promote the donations that come into the school. You can make it so that each class or grade that reaches or exceeds their goal gets a prize, but the class or grade that brings in the most donations will get a special surprise. This surprise can literally be a surprise, or it can be a known reward, such as an ice cream social or a local field trip to the roller-skating rink.

Decide How Often Money Will Be Counted – If you are running the fundraiser for a week, then you will probably wait until the end of the fundraiser to count the money. However, if you will be running it for a month or a season, then you are going to want to count the money more frequently, such as on a weekly basis. When the amounts are counted, it can be announced what grade or class is in the lead. You can even keep a poster by the money jars or jugs to keep running tallies of the donations that each class or grade has brought in.